ruffle (one's) feathers

(redirected from ruffle their feathers)

ruffle (one's) feathers

To annoy, irritate, or upset someone. Sarah's just teasing you. Don't let her ruffle your feathers like that! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle people's feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle someone's feathers

Fig. to irritate or annoy someone. I didn't mean to ruffle his feathers. I just thought that I would remind him of what he promised us.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle someone's feathers

Annoy or offend someone, as in Calling him a tightwad really ruffled his feathers. This term alludes to the stiffened, upright feathers of an angry bird. [Mid-1800s]
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle feathers

COMMON If someone ruffles feathers, they say or do something which upsets or annoys people. His management style ruffled a few feathers. The tall Texan ruffled some English feathers with his remarks. Note: If a bird's feathers are ruffled they stand out from its body, for example because it is frightened or angry.
See also: feather, ruffle

ruffle someone's feathers

cause someone to become annoyed or upset.
See also: feather, ruffle
References in periodicals archive ?
We didn't want to ruffle their feathers, but they were really supportive,'' he said.
Every time a hawk, would threaten to swoop down and snatch a chicken, the guineas would squawk and ruffle their feathers and scare the hawk away.
Marred only by a power failure seconds into their encore, which seemed to ruffle their feathers towards the end of the show, The Bluetones' return to Middlesbrough was a welcome one, even if crowd-pleasers Slight Return and Cut Some Rug were absent from the set.
Birds ruffle their feathers and animals fluff up their fur for the same reason.